Yesterday I was flipping through my work notebook and I stumbled upon a little smear of personal writing scribbled on the back of a concepting page. There was no date next to it, so I only know it was written sometime last year, during what (I hope) was the most difficult relationship of my life.
We dangle “I love you’s”
like carrots, waiting to see
if the other will bite. Hanging
them out there with nothing
but a strand of truth supporting them.
How could I have let myself get to that point? Who wants only a sliver of sincerity holding together something as big as “I love you”?
If there is one thing I learned from my 14 months of heartache, it’s that truth is the most important component in any relationship—including the one you have with yourself.
If I had been honest with myself from the beginning, I wouldn’t have stayed with him. I knew he wasn’t right. I knew he might hurt me. My subconscious screamed it at me in dreams and small anxiety attacks. Yet, my stubborn pride seemed to want to prove everyone (including myself) wrong.
It wasn’t the first time I had done this. Over the years, I’ve polished my ability to convince other people and myself that certain situations are “fine.” Better than fine, “what I want.” But there’s always a part of me that writhes and pounds its fists shouting, “You Know This Is Not What You Want.” When you’re settling, your deepest self will always tell you.
Learning not to silence that voice has been the greatest gift I could’ve received from him. For all the bad he brought to my doorstep, that one good thing makes it all worthwhile. So for that reason, I have no regrets. But I do have lots of sad words jotted throughout my notebook.